The Building Safety Bill will be in the news over the next few months as it proceeds through Parliament. The Government says the Bill is intended to implement the recommendations of Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, commissioned in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire. The extent to which it does that, and the extent to which it will help building owners and leaseholders who need to improve building fire safety, is highly controversial.

Barristers at 4 Pump Court are involved in the Grenfell Inquiry. We are involved in many pieces of litigation about fire safety which have arisen from inspections carried out in the aftermath of that disaster. We specialise in construction disputes and in particular claims by and against developers, contractors, architects, engineers (including fire engineers) and sub-contractors of all sorts – including cladding and façade designers and installers. We understand the issues that arise in relation to pursuing such claims, including limitation, insolvent defendants, insurance claims, and seeking to act for leaseholders.

As the Bill passes through Parliament we will blog about relevant legal issues. The Bill is concerned with fire safety but it is not limited to that. It seeks to enact major changes to the law on limitation, the regulation of safe building and how the construction industry is managed. The passage of the Bill, and the way in which it is finally enacted, will be of interest to all involved with the construction industry: developers, contractors, subcontractors, professionals, solicitors, insurers and claims consultants. Do bookmark this page, follow us on Linkedin, and stay in touch for the latest news on this important Bill.

Michael Gove MP lays down the Gauntlet to Developers and Construction Product Manufacturers

As presaged in our previous note[1] the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, gave an updating statement to the House of Commons in relation to building safety on 10 January 2022.  Six steps were identified: Reviewing Government schemes and programmes, such that there will be “commercial […]

Politics

14th February 2022

The Second Reading of the Building Safety Bill in the House of Lords, 2 February 2022

Shortly after the third reading in the House of Commons on 19 January 2022 the Building Safety Bill passed the second reading in the House of Lords. Recent public focus has been on the recent announcement from Michael Gove MP that developers will be forced to pay for remediation of unsafe cladding on certain residential […]

14th February 2022

The 3rd Reading of the Building Safety Bill on 19 January 2022

The Building Safety Bill passed the third reading in the House of Commons on 19 January 2022. This was somewhat overshadowed by the surprise announcement on 10 January 2022 by Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Housing, that developers will be forced to pay an estimated £4 billion to remediate unsafe cladding on residential […]

Limitation, Defective Premises Act, Retrospective Extension of Limitation, Politics

27th January 2022

Regulation of “higher-risk buildings” in the Building Safety Bill

Understandably, most attention on the Building Safety Bill has been focused on the proposal to extend the limitation period for claims under the Defective Premises Act. Less eye-catching, but perhaps just as significant for developers, landlords and leaseholders in residential developments are the Bill’s measures relating to the regulation of “higher-risk buildings”. There are two […]

11th January 2022

Retrospective extension of limitation period under the Defective Premises Act to be extended to 30 years

Under the Building Safety Bill as currently drafted, the limitation period is to be extended retrospectively to 15 years, see here. Today Michael Gove MP has announced that the Bill will be amended to make that 30 years. If enacted, that could open up a LOT of claims that were thought to be statute barred, […]

10th January 2022

Building Safety Bill in January 2022: New Year, New Minister…New Plans?

The Building Safety Bill inched its way through the Committee stage of the Commons in September – October 2021 with no significant amendments, but much discussion of the fact that leaseholders are still on the hook for remedial works. Perhaps the most important political change was that Michael Gove MP is now the secretary of […]

Politics

10th January 2022

The Bill passes through the Commons Committee Stage

Between 9 September 2021 and 26 October 2021 the Building Safety Bill was considered by the Public Bill Committee for the Building Safety Bill. A Public Bill Committee is appointed by the Committee of Selection having regard to qualifications of MPs and to the composition of the House and so this committee had a Conservative […]

Limitation, Defective Premises Act, Retrospective Extension of Limitation, Commons Committee

10th January 2022

Remedying High Risk Cladding: The Australian Approach

In the post-Grenfell landscape, one of the tasks now faced by owners and leaseholders of multi-storey residential buildings is to ensure that the same (or a similar) tragedy is not repeated. There is however an obvious, yet difficult, question: how do owners and leaseholders – an often large and amorphous group – go about rectifying […]

Politics

7th September 2021

The 2nd Reading of the Building Safety Bill 21 July 2021: Amendments in the Pipeline?

As forecast in our Preview from 20 July 2021, the second reading did not involve substantive debate on the legal issues raised by the Bill. It did, however, indicate there is significant cross-party criticism of the Bill’s failure to fund remedial works for the benefit of leaseholders. The Secretary of State, in his speech, described […]

26th July 2021

2nd Reading: a new ministerial statement on EWS1 forms

We will provide an update note on the 2nd reading of the Bill as soon as possible. In the meantime, it may be of interest to note that at the beginning of the 2nd reading (or rather shortly thereafter, which caused some consternation) a ministerial statement was provided in relation to EWS1 forms, which have […]

22nd July 2021

2nd Reading Preview

The Building Safety Bill will have its 2nd reading in the House of Commons on 21 July 2021. The 2nd reading stage involves the following: Debate on general principles of the Bill Second reading is the first opportunity for MPs to debate the main principles of the Bill. It usually takes place no sooner than […]

Commons 2nd Reading, Politics

20th July 2021

Retrospectively changing rights and liabilities

Retrospectively changing rights and liabilities As addressed in Luke Wygas‘ note one of the most eye catching changes threatened by the Bill is a retrospective extension of limitation periods running under the Defective Premises Act 1972 from 6 years to 15 years. This could remove accrued limitation defences and re-impose liabilities. It is unusual for […]

20th July 2021

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